On 15 November, the Basque Health Cluster hosted the visit of the Japanese delegation from Toyama Pharmaceutical Association, TPA. In 2020, due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, online meetings were organised so that companies from both countries could get to know each other. During this mission it was also agreed to sign a collaboration agreement.
After two years of intense work, the face-to-face visit made it possible to close the agreement that hopes to boost cooperation between companies in both countries. Asier Albizu, president of the Basque Health Cluster, and Hirohiko Inada, head of the delegation, signed the agreement at the Basque Health Cluster facilities.
This visit organised by ICEX in Japan was attended by:
- Hirohiko Inada CEO and President of Kyukyu Pharmaceutical
- Toshiki Kanamori CEO and President of Kongo Chemical
- Kentaro Fujii CEO and President of Biozone Medical
In addition, Kentaro Kaneko, Assistant Analyst for Investment and Industrial Cooperation at ICEX Japan, accompanied all the attendees, offering a bridge between the different cultures. The first meetings with companies took place in BIC Bizkaia where they met 3 companies installed there by the hand of the workers:
- Egoitz Astigarraga, CEO, and Gabriel Barreda, CSO, fromIMG Pharma Biotech
- Lissete Sanchéz, senior scientist, and Veronique Calleja, CSO, fromFast Base
- Joseba Fernandez, head of operations, legal and finance, and Iñigo Angulo, CEO, from The Art of Discovery
The meeting was also attended by Amaia Romero, Business Project Manager at BIC Bizkaia. In addition to the start-ups, the Japanese had the opportunity to visit the facilities of CIC Biogune, Biolan Health and Histocell.Javier Jimenez-Barbero, the scientific director of CIC Biogune, showed the facilities, going through the different departments. Susana Hormilla, director of innovation and corporate strategy, and Maitane Urien, head of the Lateral Flow department, showed the plant as well as the works for the future expansion. Finally, the co-founders of Histocell, Marta Acilu and Julio Font, took the delegation to the plant in Larrabetzu.
Due to the brevity of the visit, it was not possible to carry out B2Bs as on the previous occasion. However, with the present agreement it is expected that this will be a first step for the companies associated to the BHC to have, not only a better knowledge of the Japanese market, but also a gateway to it through the TPA, as well as to participate as potential technological partners of the TPA companies.